From Racetrack to Retirement

A grandson of Japan’s great Champion Sire Sunday Silence out of metropolitan-winning mare Classic Belle, Mantle Talk was raised and sold by Arrowfield Stud at the 2001 Magic Millions Yearling Sale for $45,000 to Mark Pilkington.

So far, so good. He raced with modest success for four seasons in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania before a tendon injury ended his racing career. As that door closed, a new one opened, giving Mantle Talk a place in the heart and home of Lisa Grills.

Lisa explains, “I purchased Mantle Talk through his trainer at the time, Niall Phillips. Christine Phillips told me they had a big, quiet horse in the stable looking for a home, so I grabbed him!

“When I went to see him for the first time he walked up to me in the paddock, put his head into my chest and just left it there – I was sold instantly!”

Now affectionately known as ‘Manni the Mammoth’ because of  his imposing physique, Mantle Talk settled quickly into retirement, enjoying the easy life and making the most of every opportunity to have his ears scratched!

Lisa says, “He is the quietest, most gentle horse you will ever come across. He doesn’t have a mean bone in his body, both under saddle and on the ground. He is extremely laid-back and loves going to the beach and out to competitions.”

Lisa is very familiar with thoroughbreds, after working in a racing stable and owning another retired racehorse. She strongly believes that off-the-track racehorses have a lot to offer.“I think they’re fantastic – they are so well-exposed to everything and can adapt to life after racing very easily.”

That adaptability is also a credit to Mantle Talk’s character and the early handling and education he received at Arrowfield and as a young racehorse. Lisa gives an example of how quickly he picked up the essentials of his life beyond racing.

“The second time I rode Manni after he retired from the track I took him down to the beach and rode him bareback with a rope head collar! I think this shows how quiet and honest he is – I truly treasure every day with him.” 

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